Many of you followed along on Instagram and Facebook as I explained that I decided to jump into the Mrs. Utah United States pageant last month, just 9 days before the pageant! It was the scariest thing I've ever done, but I'm so glad I did! To answer all your questions I decided to do this 2-part post series to give all the details about WHY I did it, HOW I did, and most importantly, the DREAM TEAM that helped me pull it off!
PART 1 tells the background on why this was so scary, and such a big deal for my psyche.
It's now time for PART 2…the fun part! Details on my dress, makeup, hair, and all the fun, sparkly, glitzy stuff
I needed to find a pageant-worthy gown that fit me perfectly (no time for alterations!), I didn't want to spend much money on it, and I wanted it to be as modest as possible (no high slits, cleavage, some form of shoulder coverage, no midriff showing). Not easy. I went to a dress shop in Salt Lake where I was told by several people that I should budget $400 for a gown. That I was going to wear once. GULP…excuse me?? After an hour of trying on gorgeous gowns I could never bring myself to pay so much for, I looked online for a better answer.
I found Bling it On Dress Rentals in Riverton, UT. They have hundreds of dresses in all sizes, and I found the perfect dress! I even talked them into sponsoring me by giving me a discount, so I only paid $75 to rent it (including the cleaning fee!). I felt like a million bucks.
Just goes to show the amount you pay for something does NOT directly correlate to how good you should feel in it!
I love that dress. Besides the fact that I couldn't sit down in it, it was so tight (I literally laid on my side on the floor back stage to rest because I couldn't sit!), it made me feel like Beyonce. And everyone needs a little Beyonce in their life once in a while.
MY HAIR EXTENSIONS:
I cut/color my hair once every 6 months. Otherwise I do absolutely nothing to it. I just don't know much about all the fancy shmancy stuff out there! However…I've been wanting to try clip in hair extensions for years! Not only do they make your hair thicker and longer, but it's a fun way to add color and dimension without getting your hair colored. I've been too intimidated to try…until a pageant came along and was the perfect excuse to lose my extension virginity!
I immediately called my Instagram friend, Mandie, who became an invaluable sponsor by squeezing me in for some emergency extension action! I told her I wanted blonde, to make for an Ombre effect, but I asked her to cut them to my hair length so it looked natural. She nailed it!
I told her I was very intimidated by clip-in extensions (aka freaked out!) so she made a video to teach me (and all of you!) exactly how it's done, so I could practice at home. It's thorough, but so worth watching! It looks a bit intimidating because she's showing the professional way of doing it. But once you watch you see that it's actually simpler than you'd think!
Watch online or below:
Not going to lie, these extensions are the BOMB. Yes, they are an investment. But if you take care of them, they really can last for a long time! For me, I just plan to wear them on special occasions, or when I need some extra length or thickness with a particular hair style (like braids – since they NEVER stay in my hair because of all my layers). Get them on the Bombshell Extensions website and use the code Mss5 to get a discount! woo hoo!
Guys, Mandie is a color genius. She has a fabulous YouTube channel and is the cutest Instagrammer. Go check her out for sure! She is accepting new clients in the Fall, so be sure to get on her calendar around then if you want in on her magic (and live in Utah!).
HAIR AND MAKEUP:
My Friend Courtney Smith did my hair and makeup. I met her when she did my hair and makeup for these pictures:
…and clearly did an amazing job! (See more of them on my ABOUT ME page). She has had experience with pageants before and I'm SO GLAD I called, I would have had no idea what to do! I was freaked out because of how much makeup I had on, but she knew what she was doing…it looked perfectly normal once I was on stage.
She is the SWEETEST, and is a hair/makeup guru. She is in American Fork, UT so check out her Facebook page for more info, or call/text 801-735-6478!
I have some crazy tan lines from swimming all summer. The quickest way to fix it was to get a spray tan (or so they say!)…so I also lost my spray tan virginity! It was a trip. I had a not-so-minor panic attack when I got home and saw how orange I was!
Luckily after a good shower or two, it faded enough to look normal. The girl I went to was awesome. Her name is Mindy, her number is 801-604-9791. She lives in West Jordan, UT.
When I mentioned on Instagram that I was doing a pageant and was a bit nervous about all the pampering and prep (that I had no clue about when I signed up), the SWEETEST Freeb (reader) offered to do my nails!
She is so talented! Check her out on Instagram if you're in Utah! Psst she gives discounts to high school students! I did nude shellac on my nails and sparkly pink shellac on my toes. My manicure is still going strong, even though I got them done June 24 (today is July 14!).
My orthodontist, Justin Parker in Midvale, UT, got me in for an emergency appointment to remove all the invisalign hooks and bumps off my teeth! It made it much easier to whiten them (he sells a professional whitening kit that is AMAZING). To see why I got invialign, see THIS POST and search INVISALIGN on my site for more posts (including what it costs!).
- For my interview outfit I wore the same floral $8 Ross skirt I wore in this TV segment, and I wore the cobalt blue top pictures in my hair extensions pic above.
- For my swimsuit (NO I am not posting a picture!) I found a bright pink one-piece at TJ Maxx for $24 (even though they told me to buy a $75 one from a vendor online. #RuleBreaker)
- For my shoes I wore plain, nude colored pumps from Target for the entire pageant. I think they were $20 or something.
- I didn't even think to bring pageant jewelry (#novice!) so another contestant (Taralyn, who ended up winning!) loaned me some earrings.
I think that's it! It was fun, and I honestly couldn't have pulled it off without the help from everyone above. There was a lot more to it than I ever thought, but I'm glad I conquered my intense fears and did it! I ended up getting 1st runner up and getting 1st place in Interview so I am happy! Especially with only 9 days to prepare. To see why the heck I did this to myself, see PART 1 for the background story!
PS did you see I'm giving away $100 to Junie Blake dress shop on Facebook? You still have 1 day to enter so HURRY!